I'm guilty of this sort of thing. Growing up, I never once called my mother at work. Yet I allowed my own kids to call me all the time. It just took that much longer to wean them off the "workday quickie advice call." Perhaps I should have let them figure out mundane daily jams on their own.
Many parents have blinders on. If you don't want your kids to end up with an entitled attitude, why lambast their teachers for giving them bad grades, which they likely deserve, or for failing them for cheating?
Timothy Law Snyder is vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland and lectures nationally about generational differences. Snyder says some parents blame the school or the professor, rather than the student, for bad grades, even when their child is caught plagiarizing.
"It's at its worst when the parent is living through their child," he said. "The parents' successes, even life accomplishments, are identified entirely with those of their child."
"It used to be parents would go to the school and care that (their) kid has a moral compass and understands right and wrong," Saltz said. Nowadays, the concept of right and wrong isn't as clear. "They're more concerned that the kid gets an A than be a kind person, a moral person."
Saltz said parents are under pressure for things to look good and feel good. "They love their children. .... But they've got tunnel vision."
Case in point: when everyone who plays soccer gets a trophy no matter how well, or poorly, they've played.
"Children come out and experience nothing but success, not necessarily done by them but enabled by their parents, intervening all the time," Saltz said.
Such intervention also creates a shortcut to adulthood, and that's not a good thing. Nor is having too many choices too soon.
Take the beauty salon. How young is too young for a manicure? In my salon, there's a 4-year-old girl who's been getting "mani-peds" for two years. She loves the pedicure bath," the manicurist told me. What happens to that little girl when she grows up and can't afford manicures?
And think, does your 6-year-old really need a cellphone?
As for the Crews saga, Saltz said she hopes it makes a lot of people think about being more honest with their children.
"Someday they'll have to frustrate their child, disappoint their child, point out their child's mistakes. By doing those things earlier rather than later, they'll help their children to be better people."
Would you write a letter like Crews' to your children? Do you think such a message would be effective in changing behavior? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.